From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (FAMILY GUY, “Ted”) and directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” “Iron Man”), THE ORVILLE is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer ED MERCER (MacFarlane) finally gets his chance to command one of these ships: the U.S.S. Orville. Determined to prove his worth and write a new chapter in his life, Ed finds that task all the more difficult when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, KELLY GRAYSON (Adrianne Palicki, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”). As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, GORDON MALLOY (Scott Grimes, “ER,” “Justified”), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; DR. CLAIRE FINN (Penny Johnson Jerald, “24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; BORTUS (Peter Macon, “Shameless,” “Bosch”), an alien from a single-sex species; ISAAC (Mark Jackson, “That Royal Today”), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator JOHN LAMARR (J. Lee, FAMILY GUY, “The Cleveland Show”), whose casual humor cuts through even the most dire situations; ALARA KITAN (Halston Sage, “Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”), a young, inexperienced security officer whose home planet’s high gravity gives her superior physical strength; and YAPHIT, a gelatinous creature voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”). Somehow, Ed and Kelly must put the past behind them and, with the help of the crew, navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures in outer space, as well as the tumultuous and captivating day-to-day personal relationships with their colleagues.
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MacFarlane originally wrote Orville as a spec script, which was picked up by Fox on May 4, 2016. The network ordered 13 episodes. It will be the first live-action TV series created by MacFarlane, as well as his first live-action starring role on television aside from his small role as Ensign Rivers on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Following the project’s greenlight, MacFarlane stated, “I’ve wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right. 20th and FOX have been good to me for many years, and of course, Dana and Gary have been fantastic bosses and true pals, so it was a no-brainer to come to them with the project. I think this is gonna be something special.”
It looks like every episode will be directed by a different director. People like Brannon Braga (almost 200 Star Trek episodes), Jon Cassar (multiple 24 shows), James L. Conway (Magicians and multiple Star Trek), Jon Favreau (Jungle Book, Iron Man 1 + 2), Jonathan Frakes (multiple Star Trek), Robert Duncan McNeill (Chuck, Star Trek Voyager + Enterprise) will be directing an episode.
The first season contains 13 episodes, runtime is going to be about 60 minutes. The Orville is set to air Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox during the 2017–18 season. Precise date is not know yet.
Fuzzy Door Productions and 20th Century Fox Television